Today at Cityside we reflected on the journey we've all individually been on this year so far and what has nourished as along the way. I have had a challenging year. I'm 33. On my 33rd birthday my religious grandfather wrote me a letter and reminded me how, at 33 years of age, Jesus changed the world. As intimidating as that sounds his letter was one of encouragement and mindfulness. However, today as I reflecting on the year past, and as I realised I am just under a month away from turning 34, I started to panic. DAMN, I was gonna do great things this year!
But then here are a few things I can celebrate about this year:
I went back to University study after a 12 year absence and became an A student.
I have my artwork on public display.
I woke up from an illusion I was believing in and changed direction in thought after years of self destructive behaviour.
I am still married to my best friend despite the odds stacked against us.
What then, has nourished me through the journey of this year so far?
They say death brings out the best and worst in people. In the grief of my struggles this year, I found that the people I knew were sifted. There were some that left me cold. However, overwhelmingly, the majority of my friends and family have shown me that love knows no bounds. I have been richly nourished by the love and grace of many.
My mother. She is my rock. What becomes of the broken hearted? They lead others into strength and freedom.
My husband. True love is long suffering. His humility and perseverance cannot be uttered. Grace is the key ingredient in any life-giving relationship.
The kindness of strangers. I have had many "chance" meetings of exceptional people this year. (Twitter included.) A small kind word here and there added buoyancy to the ocean of my experiences.
Other things that add nourishment to my journey:
Listening to Native NZ birdsongs. On CD if I can't get it live.
Walking. Listening it good music on my ipod if it had to be through the neighbourhood, but enjoying the sounds of the sea or the bush if I had time to walk beside or through them.
Stopping to look and be present when I see something beautiful. Taking the time to be thankful for that moment.
Embracing my erotic/creative self. Through all the senses. Touch, sight, sound, taste, smell. Savouring those moments and celebrating my body and it's connection with my lover and with life. Being present again. Without guilt.
Celebrating my son's lives. They are wise old souls. At 7 and 8 years of age they can't help but bring light, laughter and life wherever they are and whatever they do. I feel humbled by their presence in my life.
Starting barefoot ballet classes. It's crazy and beautiful.
Cityside. People who are inclusive and welcoming without expectations. Somewhere I can feel comfortable being me while I develop and strengthen my spirit.
Today I took communion. In peace. With Dave Dobbyn singing "Welcome Home" as the backing track. Yes, I belong. And yes, I have things to be both thankful AND proud of. They might be unseen, but as a 33 year old, I have done some great things this year.
(Photo not my own.)